law

aveilut

aveilut n. Hebrew (ah-vay-LOOT) The year of mourning, which Jewish law mandates only for the death of a parent; it is considered an extension of the mitzvah to “honor your mother and your father.” Traditionally, children of the deceased attend services daily to recite the Kaddish. During this time, mourners are not supposed to visit …

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amoraim

amoraim pl. n. Aramaic (ah-MOE-rah-eem) Literally, “explainers.” The ancient rabbis who are quoted in the Gemara, the legal and ethical commentaries on the Mishnah. Amoraim are contrasted with the tannaim, ancient rabbis who are quoted in the Mishnah. The Mishnah and Gemara compose the two sections of Jewish law known as the Talmud. plural noun …

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agunah

agunah n. Hebrew (ah-goo-NAH) Literally, “anchored.” A woman whose husband has deserted her or simply disappeared. Without either a get, the Jewish divorce decree that a Jewish man must grant to his wife, or proof of his death, she cannot remarry, according to Jewish law. While Orthodox and Conservative rabbis generally require a get, Reform …

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aggadah

aggadah n. Hebrew (ah-gah-DAH); pl. aggadot (ah-gah-DOTE) Literally, “narrative.” Aggadot are Jewish stories that are presented in the Talmud along with halakhah, the body of Jewish law. Unlike halakhah, these legends, historical stories, jokes, ethical tales, and sermons are not legally binding; their purpose is to explain and elaborate on Jewish laws and customs. noun …

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ANGER

ANGER Human anger.—Except by the stoical mind which finds no place for strong emotion in a moral scheme, anger has been recognized as a quality which, under certain conditions and within certain limits, may not only be permissible but commendable. Its ready abuse has, however, led to its being commonly placed among the evils of …

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ANGELS

ANGELS The scope of this article.—The passages in the apostolic writings in which angels are mentioned or referred to will be examined; some of them are ambiguous and have been interpreted in various ways. The doctrine of the OT and of the apocryphal period on the subject has been so fully dealt with in HDB …

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ANANIAS (Gr. Ἀνανίας; Heb. חָנָן ‘Jahweh is gracious’)

ANANIAS (Gr. Ἀνανίας; Heb. חָנָן ‘Jahweh is gracious’) A very common name in later Jewish times, corresponding to Hananiah or Hanani of the OT. We find it occurring frequently in the post-exilic writings and particularly in the Apocrypha. In the history of the Apostolic Church, we meet with three persons bearing this name. An early …

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ALTAR

ALTAR In the NT, as in the LXX, the usual term for ‘altar’ is θυσιαστήριον—a word otherwise confined to Philo, Josephus, and ecclesiastical writers—while βωμός, as contrasted with a Jewish place of sacrifice, is a heathen altar. The most striking example of the antithesis is found in 1 Mac 1:54–59. Antiochus Epiphanes erected a small …

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